Harlow Museum & Walled Gardens


Enjoy a delightful day out for the family at Harlow Museum

Harlow Museum is an oasis of tranquility, a research centre, a family day out and much more besides. Come and discover one of the best kept secrets in Essex!

For activities and programmes currently running at Harlow Museum, please see our What’s On section – click here!

Gardens rear viewA historic location

The Museum is located in the former Mark Hall stables, linked with the Mark Hall Manor House – which had many distinguished occupants, dating back to the Norman Conquest.

The great house was visited on three occasions by Queen Elizabeth 1 and her retinue. It is surrounded by the beautiful Walled Gardens which were originally the kitchen gardens for Mark Hall and the famous families which lived there. We have a short history of Mark Hall estate and many other local history publications available for visitors


Our four main Galleries tell the story of Harlow over four periods: from recent times and the story of how modern Harlow was designed and built, through the Victorians, Stuart and Tudor times, reaching back through the middle ages to the remarkable Roman finds in the local area. Our new Living History Gallery shows how we explore and explain history through archeology, conservation work, displays and exhibitions. Gallery 5 is used for temporary exhibitions.

Lectures and talks, research and reference library

Harlow Museum hosts a varied programme of talks and lectures for history enthusiasts: ask for further details. The Museum’s Heritage Centre provides a quiet study room, archive materials and newspaper records, together with free internet access and services provided in partnership with the Essex Record Office, such as online access to parish records. Our staff are happy to assist with research enquiries, using our extensive collection of records. And if we don’t know the answer, we probably know someone who will!

Family friendly, beautifully maintained Walled Gardens, Teas and coffees and a charming shop


The Knotted Garden

Harlow Museum is a great place to spend a contented and enjoyable morning or afternoon – you can always bring a picnic to enjoy in the superb 16th Century Walled Gardens.  Our team of volunteers led by Captain Bob do a fantastic job of caring for and developing the three main gardens and many rare and unusual species can be found here.

To round off your visit, we offer simple refreshments in our Corner Cafe at excellent prices.

Our Museum Shop includes many interesting collectables and a good selection of children’s books and we often have special offers on our bookstand..

HM Cafe poster

Parking is easy on site and we have accessible entrances all on one level.

For children, there is always something to do at Harlow Museum: our Time Detectives workshops on Saturdays are great fun and our yh group (Your History/Young Historians) offers special opportunities to explore history for the next generation of archeologists and researchers! We have a number of child-friendly Trails to help the family explore and enjoy…

Where can I find out more?

Use the Visitor Info tab above or call us on 01279 454959 for information on opening hours and how to find the Museum.

Memory Lane….

Click here to look at a delightful clip of Harlow memories on film on YouTube – with thanks to Susan Crawford for pointing it out to us….

Photos of Harlow Old and New

This amazing and extensive Facebook group of local people has compiled a wonderful collection of images from around Harlow and is really worth a visit.

Click here to visit and enjoy the nostalgia!